Pennsylvania’s complex state budget has enabled policymakers to keep taxpayers in the dark when it comes to state spending. Year after year, some elected officials use budget gimmicks to both make the budget appear balanced and to secure their own agendas. Pennsylvanians deserve reforms that bring true transparency to the budgeting process. We must limit spending growth to a sustainable rate, ensuring the state government—like hardworking taxpayers—live within its means.

2024 state budget resources

State Budget

Pennsylvania Families Need Government to Prioritize Spending

  • June 25, 2007

All families must learn to live within a budget. They understand that they can’t spend more than what they earn—at least not for very long. Frequently this means saying “No”…

Commentary

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State Budget

Senate Takes Step to Put PA on Spending Diet

  • June 21, 2007

Commonwealth Foundation applauds WAM-free, low-growth budget HARRISBURG, PA — On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a 2007-08 budget in the spirit of the Taxpayer Protection Act. This $27.0 billion budget…

Press Release

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Education

Taxpayer-Funded Preschool: Count the Costs

  • June 13, 2007

Governor Ed Rendell’s budget proposal for the 2007-08 fiscal year includes $75 million for “Pre-K Counts”—a taxpayer-funded program which would provide grants to school districts, Head Start programs, and government-approved…

Fact Sheet

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State Budget

A Diet Plan for an Obese State Government

  • May 30, 2007

Commonwealth Foundation launches campaign to “Put Pennsylvania on a Spending Diet” HARRISBURG, PA — Today, the Commonwealth Foundation announced the launch of a media campaign to educate Pennsylvanians about the…

Press Release

Read More: A Diet Plan for an Obese State Government

Education

Diet Tip of the Week, Issue 3

  • May 24, 2007

One of the most notorious abuses of taxpayers' money is the exercise of Walking-Around-Money (WAMs). These funds are set aside for use at each legislator's discretion to dish out to…

Commentary

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State Budget

We Need a People’s Budget

  • May 9, 2007

Good morning. Let me begin by thanking Chairman Turzai and the members of this committee for the invitation to be with you this morning. We are here today because Governor…

Testimony

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Government Accountability

Taxpayers Need Protection

  • May 3, 2007

Delivered on Thursday, April 26, 2007 Good morning Chairman Corman, Senator Regola, and Senator Folmer. It is indeed a pleasure and an honor to be able to come before you…

Testimony

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Education

Free-Market Approaches to Fiscal Policy

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 27, 2007

Good morning. My name is Nathan Benefield; I am the Director of Policy Research for the Commonwealth Foundation, a research and policy institute in Harrisburg. I want to thank the…

Testimony

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Education

Spending Restraint Needed

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 14, 2007

Good afternoon. My name is Nathan Benefield, I am the Director of Policy Research for the Commonwealth Foundation. I would like to thank Chairman Armstrong and the members of the…

Testimony

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State Budget

State Government Spending

  • February 1, 2007

Over the last several decades, the growth in state government spending has exceeded both the rate of inflation and increases in the income of citizens. Unlimited government spending growth has…

Fact Sheet

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State Budget

Rendell hype costs Pa. $12.5M a year

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 23, 2006

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article on the$12.5 million in the administration’s public relations budget. Just one advantage of being an incumbent.

Media

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Government Accountability

Judge sues to refuse pay raise

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 20, 2006

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article on Superior Court Judge Joan Orie Melvin’s lawsuit to not have her pay raised. I guess she doesn’t agree with Chief Justice Cappy that judges are…

Media

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Regulation

A $2-Trillion Fiscal Hole

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 12, 2006

Wall Street Journal article estimates the unfunded liabilities of state and local government’s retiree health care plans to be $1.4 trillion, about double the unfunded pension liabilities of $700…

Media

Read More: A $2-Trillion Fiscal Hole

Government Accountability

‘Smart Talk’ on pay raise

  • Nathan Benefield
  • September 25, 2006

Alison Hawkes summary of Chief Justice Cappy’s defense of the judicial pay raise: “He said judges needed a pay hike because salaries were slipping compared to other states, although…

Media

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Government Accountability

Pa. courts say judges’ pay will rise with feds

  • Nathan Benefield
  • September 23, 2006

AP Report that court adminstrators say PA judges pay are now tied to federal judges. While this differs from my reading of the court ruling on cost-of-living-adjustments, and…

Media

Read More: Pa. courts say judges’ pay will rise with feds